Friday, January 19, 2018
TV and Radio_sports

Sports TV: weekend in review

tom jones' two cents

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

Best coverage

Thankfully, we've reached the portion of the baseball postseason when Fox gets involved. It is broadcasting the American League Championship Series while TBS handles the National League series. Fox also will do the World Series.

Picking on TBS at this point just feels mean.

It has been a rough postseason for TBS, rougher than in previous years. Its broadcasts should improve now that the first-team analyst duo of Cal Ripken Jr. and Ron Darling are doing all its remaining games.

Oddly, a lot of what people didn't like about TBS's coverage to date — Pedro Martinez, Gary Sheffield and Keith Olbermann in the studio, for example — I thought was pretty good. Still, it's clear Fox has a superior product. Maybe it's because it has more money. Maybe it has cooler toys. Maybe its personnel is just better.

But watching a game on TBS is like having a cheeseburger. Fox is like having a good steak.

Most interesting replacement

Tim McCarver's stint as a baseball broadcaster is nearing an end. The Fox analyst is retiring after the World Series.

When McCarver announced his plans in spring training, TBS's Ron Darling was considered among the leading candidates to replace him. But not now that Darling has signed an extension with Turner, which runs TBS.

"Turner was aggressive in coming and saying, 'Hey, let's continue this relationship,' " Darling told the New York Daily News. "They didn't have to do that. That said a lot about my work with them, and it says a lot about them as a company. … My decision to stay (at Turner) wasn't hard at all."

So that leaves the Fox position wide open. Plenty of candidates are out there, though I'm not sure how many elite candidates are. I've written this before, but if I were Fox, I'd approach ESPN's Curt Schilling about the job.

Most interesting news

Fox NFL Sunday analyst Jimmy Johnson and reporter Jay Glazer were clear that former Bucs QB Josh Freeman (above left) was brought to Minnesota to be the Vikings' starter.

Glazer said Vikings coach Leslie Frazier originally told Freeman that starter Christian Ponder (above right, in front of Vikings backup Matt Cassell) could not lose his starting job to injury.

"That has changed," Glazer said.

Freeman was not active Sunday, and Glazer said Freeman likely wouldn't start next week but would the week after. Then again, that timetable might get moved up after Minnesota's embarrassing 35-10 loss to the Panthers.

Biggest return

ESPN college football analyst David Pollack was back on College GameDay on Saturday, a week after saying he didn't want women on the committee to select the teams to compete for the national championship.

Pollack tried to explain on Twitter that what he meant was he wanted people on the committee who were immersed in college football. But at the time, when host Chris Fowler who threw Pollack an anchor instead of a lifeline — asked if he thought women didn't belong on the committee, Pollack said yes.

I'm not condoning what Pollack said, but I don't think he meant it as badly as it sounded. And it's my guess Pollack has learned his lesson. It's good to see ESPN didn't overreact.

Most awkward

Most uncomfortable moment of the weekend? Well, if Lane Kiffin forgot he was fired by Southern Cal, he was reminded on national TV Saturday. Fans from the University of Washington, which hosted ESPN's College GameDay, chanted to Kiffin while he was on set: "You got fired."

Best analysis

Good work by Sun Sports hockey analyst Bobby "Chief" Taylor to point out the needless penalty taken by the Lightning's Richard Panik that set up the Penguins' winning goal on the power play in the final minute of Saturday's game. You can't take penalties 200 feet from your net in a tie game with a minute left in regulation.

Biggest criticism

Fox NFL Sunday analyst Michael Strahan took a couple of shots at Cowboys QB Tony Romo (above), who tends to play extremely well until the deciding moments of games. And that's when he plays not so well.

"Romo is the basketball player who can't hit the clutch shot," Strahan said. "He's the baseball player who hits well in the regular season but can't hit anything in the playoffs. I don't know what it is, but at least he has a long career ahead of him in order to change this."

Three things that popped into my head

1. Michigan football coach Brady Hoke (left) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (right) are the same guy, right?

2. The St. Louis Cardinals are so good, so consistent, so impressive that they have moved into the category of teams I'm officially sick of.

3. Not only is Florida 4-2 with Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina and FSU ahead, but worse for Gators fans, they average only 21.8 points a game, 102nd in Division I-A. Gator Nation does love them some offense.


Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosNASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony8 p.m.NBCSNCollege basketballBuffalo at Western Michigan7 p.m.ESPNUSt. Bonaventure at Davidson7 p.m.ESPN2Canisius at Manhattan9 p.m.ESPNUIllinois at Wisconsin9 p.m.FS1College gymnasticsFlorida at Kentuc...
Published: 01/18/18

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMurray State at Belmont7 p.m.ESPNUJacksonville State at Morehead State7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: Florida at Arkansas7 p.m.SECWomen: Tennessee at Notre Dame7 p.m.ESPNMinnesota at Maryland8:30 p.m.FS1UNC Asheville at Winthrop9 p.m.ESPNUSt...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballTulsa at Temple6 p.m.ESPNewsVillanova at Georgetown6:30 p.m.FS1Dayton at St. Joseph’s6:30 p.m.CBSSNArkansas at Florida7 p.m.ESPN2; 1250-AMSMU at Wichita State7 p.m.ESPNUAuburn at Alabama7 p.m.SECUSF at East Carolina7 p.m.820-AM...
Published: 01/16/18

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWisconsin at Purdue7 p.m.ESPNLouisville at Notre Dame7 p.m.ESPN2Georgia at LSU7 p.m.ESPNUVanderbilt at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECClemson at North Carolina7 p.m.Fox SunCincinnati at UCF7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: Michigan at Ohio State7 p...
Published: 01/15/18

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballButler at Providence4:30 p.m.FS1Maryland at Michigan6:30 p.m.FS1Duke at Miami7 p.m.ESPNFlorida State at Boston College7 p.m.ESPNU; 1010-AMBucknell at Colgate7 p.m.CBSSNMinnesota at Penn State7 p.m.Big TenWomen: Connecticut at T...
Published: 01/14/18
Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- it’s TV tidbits time

Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- it’s TV tidbits time

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best comebackExcuse Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for getting so carried away that he dropped the queen bee of curse words on live television Sun...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: UCF at USFnoonESPNU; 1040-AMWomen: Army at NavynoonCBSSNWomen: North Carolina at Wake Forest12:30 p.m.FSFWomen: LSU at Florida1 p.m.SECWomen: Tennessee at South Carolina1 p.m.ESPN2Women: St. Louis at Dayton2 p.m.ESPNUWom...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballSt. Bonaventure at Rhode Island11 a.m.ESPNUKansas State at KansasnoonESPNPurdue at MinnesotanoonESPN2Wake Forest at DukenoonCh. 44Michigan at Michigan StatenoonFoxGeorgetown at Seton HallnoonFS1Women: Duquesne at George Washing...
Published: 01/12/18

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: Marist at Quinnipiac10 a.m.ESPNUMaryland at Ohio State7 p.m.ESPN2Tulsa at Houston7 p.m.ESPNUTennessee State at Eastern Illinois7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: Miami at Florida State7 p.m.FSFWomen: Notre Dame at Louisville7 p.m.ESPNWom...
Published: 01/10/18

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: Richmond at St. Joseph’snoonNBCSNMississippi State at Florida7 p.m.SEC; 1250-AMDuke at Pittsburgh7 p.m.ESPN2Notre Dame at Georgia Tech7 p.m.ESPNUVirginia Tech at Wake Forest7 p.m.Fox SunUCF at Connecticut7 p.m.CBSSNRutge...
Published: 01/09/18